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04.06.2012

Alarm at UK Energy Cuts

Press Release from SNP MEP Alyn Smith

Scotland’s sole representative on the European Parliament’s Energy Committee Alyn Smith MEP has today (Monday) reacted with alarm to reports that the UK Chancellor George Osborne is to demand "massive cuts" to renewable energy.

Alyn has written to the Chancellor seeking reassurances that the support mechanisms for renewables will remain in place in order to give investors long term security.

Alyn said:

"Scotland can be, and will be, Europe’s Green powerhouse but we need to get our act together. That Energy policy remains reserved to the recalcitrant UK government is a massive missed opportunity and the sooner we get it back to Scotland the better. The UK has been dragging their feet on pretty much every single common energy objective in Brussels from the Energy Efficiency Directive to vital infrastructure investment, and this latest news confirms that short-termism remains the norm at Westminster. Scotland can do better.

"The renewables revolution is just getting going, and we need to establish a critical mass to cement Scotland’s position as the logical place to do renewable business.

"The support mechanisms in place are not perfect, but they are working and the industry is developing. We are dealing with new technology, a fragile industry and a global economic crisis, that any investment is happening at all is remarkable. To see sentiment so grievously undermined as a sop to various Conservative backbenchers at Westminster is appalling.

"Scotland is open for business to renewables, and Scotland’s government remains keen to see us fulfil our glittering potential. If the UK government does indeed enact this short sighted and retrograde step then it makes the case for independence all the more urgent."

ENDS

NOTE TO EDITORS

The reports in today’s Guardian can be found at the following link:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/jun/02/george-osborne-cuts-windfarm-subsidies